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Need to extend your 2019 personal taxes? Form 4868 is what you need. 

Daily life is both busy and hectic. But when tax season comes around, things get even more complicated, and sometimes, downright stressful

Fortunately, Form 4868 is simple to complete and allows you to push back your tax due date. 

What is the purpose of Form 4868?

The IRS’s Form 4868 gives you the ability to file for a tax extension, which pushes back the due date for your taxes, allowing you to pay for them at a later time. 

If you need a little more time to pay your taxes, filling out– and filing– Form 4868 takes a matter of minutes. And, with it, you can push up your tax date and get that much-needed time. 

How long is the extension for Form 4868?

So, how much of an extension does Form 4868 get you?

By filing Form 4868– assuming the extension is approved– you’re granted an automatic 6-month extension to file your taxes for that year. 

For example, instead of paying your taxes on April 15th of that year (or the next business day after the 15th), your taxes would then be pushed back to October. 

Also, keep in mind that those additional 6 months begin on the date of your tax return and not the date you filed the extension

How to fill out tax extension Form 4868

Fortunately, filling out tax extension Form 4868 is both simple and easy.

Here’s the entire form: 

FORM 4868

Simple, right? 

Keep in mind, it’s still important to make sure you fill out the form properly. 

If you don’t, it could come back rejected and you’d have to resubmit your extension all over again. 

Form 4868 breaks down into 2 sections. Let’s review those now:

Part 1: Your basic information

First, start by entering your basic information into the left side of the form via lines 1-3:

Once you’re done entering your name, address, social security number, and the SSN of your spouse (only if filing jointly), it’s time to move on to part 2.

Keep in mind that the address you place into this section will be where any further mail notifications will be sent. 

So, make sure to put down the address you want these correspondences going to.

Part 2: Your income tax information

Once you’re done with lines 1-3, it’s time to fill out the rest of Form 4868 including lines 4-9.


This section is your basic income tax information, including:

  • Line 4: Estimate your total tax liability for said tax year.
  • Line 5: Estimate your total payments for said tax year. 
  • Line 6: Simply subtract line 5 from line 4 and jot that number down here (if the number negative– line 5 is more than line 4– enter 0).
  • Line 7: If you’ll be doing a partial payment on your taxes now and request an extension on the remaining amount, notate the amount you’ll be paying. 
  • Line 8: This is an odd one, but only worry about it if you’ll be out of the country on the original due date of your tax return. 
  • Line 9: This line is only applicable to those filing Forms 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ who didn’t receive wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding. 

With that, you filled in all the information necessary to file Form 4868. Easy, right?

Does Form 4868 require a signature?

No, Form 4868 does not require a signature. 

While many IRS forms do require a date and signature, tax extension Form 4868 only requires a few basic pieces of information to file. 

Can you file Form 4868 electronically?

Yes, you can file Form 4868 electronically through a variety of methods.

To do that, either use your own approved tax software or learn who and what is approved to use the IRS e-file system, which you can learn more about here: irs.gov/filing/e-file-options. (Alternatively, your tax professional can do this for you to simplify the process.)

Form 4868– Complete!

That’s all there is to it. 

Once you’ve filed your extension, provided your information looks good and the IRS approves the request, you’ve now got a full 6 extra months to take care of your personal taxes. 

To learn more about Form 4868 and to review the IRS’s notes in case special circumstances apply to you, read the IRS’s official instructions here

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Need to File an Extension on Your Business Taxes?

Thats a different form called form 7004. Its similar to form 4868 but pertains to your business. Please check out our Guide to Filing an extension for your business with form 7004.